Swachh Survekshan-2018: Bengaluru slips further, Mayor fumes, BBMP blames elections
The Swachh Survekshan-2018 rankings have come as a real shocker for Bengaluru, where its rank has slipped even further than last year's 210. The city's poor performance can be attributed majorly to a 'zero' score in the open defecation-free (ODF) subcategory. At the time of survey, BBMP had built just two individual toilets. No community toilets were built. However, officials blamed elections for this.
For a ward to be declared ODF, a corporator should give their attestation after reviewing a report submitted by all government school heads. But "the last 2-3 months have gone in preparation for assembly polls because of which corporators were very busy," reasoned Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Health and Solid Waste Management. But he added that soon, all 198 wards will be declared ODF.
Some civic officials said the delayed release of funds by the governments also postponed the process of building toilets. "The money (for individual toilets) reached us only by the end of February/early March (the time the survey was conducted). So this (building toilets) wasn't possible," said an official. But why were no community toilets constructed? "The funds reached us just last month," he added.
The Swachh-Survekshan has kept a score of 4,000 for urban local bodies, out of which 1,400 is for service level progress (SLP). SLP includes ODF, waste collection, transportation, processing and disposal. BBMP is responsible for all of these. In this, Bengaluru scored a dismal 481/1,400 and clocked a total 2001.98/4,000. The dismal score has naturally left BBMP Mayor Sampath Raj fuming.
Raj said he would hold discussions with officials to know why Bengaluru and even Mysuru performed so poorly. Mysuru's rank at eight, three places below last year's rank, has shocked Raj, who feels the royal city is way better than top rankers Indore and Bhopal. But Kathyayini Chamaraj founder of Civic Bengaluru disagrees, saying the city still has poor waste management system.
"Waste still gets dumped at public places and citizens continue to litter. Poor handling of solid-waste and zero-segregation of waste at source led to Mysuru's poor ratings. Moreover, not a single inch of two abandoned landfills at Mandur and Mavallipura has been processed," she said.